- “It’s Incredible. The Scale Of What JPMorgan Is Doing Is Mind-Boggling”
by Tyler Durden, https://www.zerohedge.com/
Shortly after our latest discussion how JPM’s drain of liquidity via Money Markets and reserves parked at the Fed may have prompted the September repo crisis and subsequent launch of “Not QE” by the Fed in order to reduce its at risk capital and potentially lower its G-SIB charge – currently the highest of all major US banks – we not only got confirmation that the biggest US bank has been quietly rotating out of cash, but was also busy repositioning its balance sheet in another major way.
According to an overnight report from the FT which confirms what we already disclosed previously, namely that JPMorgan pushed more than $130bn of excess cash away from reserves in the process significantly tightening overall liquidity in the interbank market, the bulk of this money was allocated to long-dated bonds while cutting the amount of loans it holds, in what the FT dubbed was a “major shift in how the largest US bank by assets manages its enormous balance sheet.”
The moves saw the bank’s bond portfolio soar by 50%, and were prompted by capital rules that treat loans as riskier than bonds. And since JPM has been aggressively returning billions of dollars to shareholders in dividends and share buybacks each year, JPMorgan has far less room than most rivals to hold riskier assets, explaining its substantially higher G-SIB surcharge.
In other words, to ensure that JPM’s tens of billions in buybacks and dividends continue flowing smoothly and enriching the company’s shareholders, Jamie Dimon may have held the entire US financial system hostage, forcing the Fed’s hand to restart “Not QE.”